A misadventure has led an Antarctic penguin to stroll ashore over 2,000 miles from home.
On Wednesday, the Adélie penguin, which is native to Antarctica, washed ashore on the New Zealand shoreline.
Harry Singh, a local in Birdlings Flat on the southern island, noticed the uncommon visitor just south of Christchurch. The penguin can be seen roaming around on the beach in a video taken by Singh.
Singh told NBC News over Facebook messaging on Friday, “I did not feel any bodily injury, but I was exhausted and hungry.”
According to an online Wikipedia of New Zealand birds, an Adélie penguin was last seen in 1993, and this is just the third time one has made it to the country’s beaches. One was found dead in 1962, and a living Adélie penguin was supposedly sighted in 1993. Locals affectionately christened the bird “Pingu,” after the main character in a clay animated children’s TV series, despite the fact that its sex was not immediately ascertained.
Singh and his wife sat with the tired critter for nearly four hours until being rescued by workers from the Christchurch Penguins Rehabilitation.
According to the news website Stuff, Thomas Stracke of Christchurch Penguin Rehabilitation came at the scene with a veterinarian. He informed the website that the penguin was terribly dehydrated and emaciated. He said that before Pingu was put back into the water on Friday morning, the crew had given it some “fish smoothies.”
The Australian Associated Press quoted Anita Spencer, senior ranger at the Department of Conservation, as saying, “We selected a south-facing bay with not too many people and no dogs.” Pingu leaped across stones and dived into the surf, re-energized and on its feet.